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Intel launches Intel Optane memory H20 for client PCs

by Mark Tyson on 18 May 2021, 12:11

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaeqlk

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Intel has announced a new storage product for client PCs. The new Intel Optane memory H20 products fuse Intel Optane technology and Intel QLC 3D flash. Compatible with new PC systems featuring 11th gen Intel Core processors, Intel Optane memory H20 comes in single sided M.2 2280 form factor sticks and in a choice of 0.5 and 1TB capacities. Product availability is scheduled to begin on 20th June.

According to Intel, the new Optane memory H20 sticks are ideal for gamers, media and content creators, everyday users, and professionals. The product is touted as delivering improved performance and responsiveness, with lower power consumption compared to the prior generation product – good for OS boot and general performance. In particular, Intel says that this solution "offers low latency and high performance with mixed random read/write speeds at low queue depths, and under demanding workloads".

Moving past the blurb and checking out the specs you will see that these are PCIe 3.0 NVMe storage devices that are compatible with systems packing 11th Gen Intel Core series processors and Intel 500 series chipsets. Not using PCIe 4.0 has the one plus of lower power consumption, particularly beneficial in portables. Users will require the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (Intel RST) driver, which intelligently uses the Optane cache for giving faster access to frequently accessed data.

Whether you buy the 0.5 or 1TB product you get 32GB of fast Optane memory cache. Key performance stats are the Random 4KB Read/Write (IOPS) of up to 65K/40K, Sequential Read/Write of up to 3,300/2,100MB/s, and typical power consumption of average: 170mW, idle: 35mW (Typical).

Intel is providing these 0.5 and 1TB products with a 5-year warranty for up to 185TBW and 370TBW, respectively. It touts a 1.6 million hours MTBF. Unfortunately at this time we don't have any pricing indications.



HEXUS Forums :: 18 Comments

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Optane will never get proper widespread adoption while they keep just locking it down to Intel based platforms because Optane is actually great, they're awesome write caches and brilliant read caches for QD1 4K random IO, all my ZFS systems have at least 1 optane write SLOG per pool.

But the proper benefits of Optane are still being locked behind Intels compatibility meaning it won't get adoption wholeheartedly, especially while AMD solutions (like Threadripper and TR Pro) are smoking the workstation circuit.
This kinda feels like hybrid SSD/HDDs where you have the worst of all worlds. Maybe I'm just being cynical because I won't be sacrificing system performance to allow me to use a storage technology.

I was throwing 4K/60 video files around yesterday on my PC into an editing program and the SSD was absolutely not a bottleneck. What would have been a bottleneck would have been buying a similarly priced Intel based system back when I purchased, which would have near doubled the rendering time.

I think it's more than a bit misleading (Intel) saying these are good for gamers (Hexus seems to be quoting that). Last time I checked, Optane's major advantage was in random, not sequential performance. Most games rely on sequential read speeds for loading and this isn't going to give you MOAR FPS! Additionally, Optane in this case is only 32GB - nowhere near big enough for modern games.

What solutions like this do is give you stunning performance for one thing and then unexpected slowdowns for others (like hybrid SSD/HDDs). Personally, I prefer a fairly middling and predictable responsiveness, not awesome speed and then wondering what's happening when the slowdown comes. The other question is whether the Optane is going to be limited by bus speeds, etc.

There are definitely specific use cases, but for the throwing around of large files, doesn't a high spec, PCI-e 4.0 TLC SSD work better?

Tabbykatze, I'd be interested in what you think having obviously adopted it.
PCIe 3.0 x4 interface
x2 for Optane
x2 for QLC NAND

They are not shared.

Previous version more than twice the cost of a decent mid range PCIe 3.0 x4 TLC based SSD.
No thanks Intel. I'll pass on that one.
philehidiot
This kinda feels like hybrid SSD/HDDs where you have the worst of all worlds. Maybe I'm just being cynical because I won't be sacrificing system performance to allow me to use a storage technology.

I was throwing 4K/60 video files around yesterday on my PC into an editing program and the SSD was absolutely not a bottleneck. What would have been a bottleneck would have been buying a similarly priced Intel based system back when I purchased, which would have near doubled the rendering time.

I think it's more than a bit misleading (Intel) saying these are good for gamers (Hexus seems to be quoting that). Last time I checked, Optane's major advantage was in random, not sequential performance. Most games rely on sequential read speeds for loading and this isn't going to give you MOAR FPS! Additionally, Optane in this case is only 32GB - nowhere near big enough for modern games.

What solutions like this do is give you stunning performance for one thing and then unexpected slowdowns for others (like hybrid SSD/HDDs). Personally, I prefer a fairly middling and predictable responsiveness, not awesome speed and then wondering what's happening when the slowdown comes. The other question is whether the Optane is going to be limited by bus speeds, etc.

There are definitely specific use cases, but for the throwing around of large files, doesn't a high spec, PCI-e 4.0 TLC SSD work better?

Tabbykatze, I'd be interested in what you think having obviously adopted it.

WRT the gaming side of things, actually you're finding a lot of modern AAA games do streaming assets (that's why we're getting Microsofts DirectStorage API, really cool) so random IO is becoming far more needed than sequential bandwidth.

I think straight Optane drives are excellent and are a diamond in the rough technology because their extremely low latency QD1 writes and to a lesser extent, reads are perfect for caching systems. The big issue is to get them at any kind of size that makes sense literally break banks.

With ZFS using a SLOG, the cache is flushed to the drives every 10 seconds so on a 10gbps link, you'll only need 16GB drive to suit a 10GbE read/write iSCSI target. I can tell you now though, running a SLOG Optane for a VMWare iSCSI target really cleaned up the performance of the VMs in regards to storage, it's a great technology and completely destroys the proposition of a RAID card with a memory module and BBU.

Tbh, I think Optane caches should certainly start being used on PCIe 4.0 SSDs for writes and somewhat reads but then again, SSDs these days normally have much better writes than reads till they're full up anyway. So I guess, outside niche areas, not really sure why on earth i'd buy an H20 over an XPG SX8200 or an equivalent Sabrent/Samsung.

Again, this feels that it's just yet another case of Intel making a solution for a problem that doesn't really exist for users.
Tabbykatze
WRT the gaming side of things, actually you're finding a lot of modern AAA games do streaming assets (that's why we're getting Microsofts DirectStorage API, really cool) so random IO is becoming far more needed than sequential bandwidth.

I think straight Optane drives are excellent and are a diamond in the rough technology because their extremely low latency QD1 writes and to a lesser extent, reads are perfect for caching systems. The big issue is to get them at any kind of size that makes sense literally break banks.

With ZFS using a SLOG, the cache is flushed to the drives every 10 seconds so on a 10gbps link, you'll only need 16GB drive to suit a 10GbE read/write iSCSI target. I can tell you now though, running a SLOG Optane for a VMWare iSCSI target really cleaned up the performance of the VMs in regards to storage, it's a great technology and completely destroys the proposition of a RAID card with a memory module and BBU.

Tbh, I think Optane caches should certainly start being used on PCIe 4.0 SSDs for writes and somewhat reads but then again, SSDs these days normally have much better writes than reads till they're full up anyway. So I guess, outside niche areas, not really sure why on earth i'd buy an H20 over an XPG SX8200 or an equivalent Sabrent/Samsung.

Again, this feels that it's just yet another case of Intel making a solution for a problem that doesn't really exist for users.

But the numbers look great don't they!